Craving Dopamine? Fava Bean Hummus Recipe

by Rebecca A. Watson on February 7, 2013

in food, recipes

I got invited to a clothing swap this weekend. It’s where everyone brings the clothes, jewelry and shoes they no longer wear, and we take what we like. The rest gets donated. I was told not to bring very much as there is always a crazy amount of stuff.

ugly sweater party

While I wore this outfit ironically, I’m not sure I’m ready to give it up.

Aside from being thrifty, it’s sounds like a lot of fun. Everyone brings a snack. New (to me) clothes for the price of an appetizer? Yes please!

Because I don’t eat dairy or wheat, I’m generally limited to a few things. Chips and salsa never gets old. I could eat Mexican food every day. And then there’s hummus, which I do enjoy, but it can get a little … ho-hum.

But I discovered something that makes ho-hum hummus absolutely lively — people go gaga over it. The secret? Fava beans.  These bad boys are full of fiber, folate and fun — they’ve been found to increase your dopamine levels, the feel good hormone.

fava beans

Now, most recipes I see for fava beans involve shelling them and from what I hear, it takes forever and really isn’t any fun. The nice thing about how I make fava bean hummus?  No shelling required.

It does, however, require you to soak and cook dried fava beans (I use the speed soak method, which works for all beans and seriously rocks), although I have seen canned fava beans, so I’m sure you could use those too.

If you’re looking to make this recipe quickly, go with the canned beans. You can make it in 10 minutes and let it rest for an hour in the fridge and you’re ready! The dried fava beans add about three hours to the process — I usually cook them the day before.

The No Ho-Hum Hummus

Serves 6

  • 1 garlic clove, peeled
  • 1 roasted red pepper (I usually buy a jar of these)
  • 1.5 cups (1 15oz. can drained and rinsed) fava beans
  • 2 Tablespoons lemon juice
  • 3 Tablespoons tahini
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 3/4 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon curry powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1-3 Tablespoons water

If using dried beans, place beans in pan and cover with an inch of water. Bring to a boil for four minutes. Let soak for an hour, giving the beans a little encouragement as they open up. Drain and rinse the beans, cover them with 3-4 inches of water and bring to a gentle boil for 1.5 hours or until cooked. Let soak again for 30 minutes. Drain and rinse again.

Drop garlic clove into food processor while it’s running (usually through that little spout on the top) and let mince. Marvel at your luck for having a food processor. Add red pepper. Run for 3 seconds. Scrape the sides.

Add beans and pulse 5-7 times to get them chopped a bit.  Maybe do a little hip shake while you pulse: saucy! Add lemon juice, tahini, olive oil,  salt, curry powder, coriander, cumin, and pepper. Turn on the processor and let it run for a good minute.

Once the fava beans are chopped and mixed thoroughly, add water while the machine is running to bring it to the consistency you want. If you use more than 3 tablespoons, use a little olive oil too.

Refrigerate for at least an hour to let the flavors settle. I usually try to do it overnight, but I get antsy sometimes and just want to eat it.

fava bean dip


Serve with carrots, celery, cucumbers and anything else you like to dip, like gluten-free, dairy-free crackers or tortilla chips. Or if you’re lucky enough to not have a food allergy, pita bread!

I’ve gotten a lot of good feedback about my recipes, and I really appreciate it! Ever since I first stopped eating dairy, I thought There has *got* to be a way to make (insert awesome food I can no longer eat here). 

And y’know what I’ve found? There usually is. I’ve compiled the recipes I’ve done so far, and I’ve decided to make it a feature I do once a month: Rebecca’s Recipes. I’ll also let you know what recipes I’m following online, so you can get some inspiration for your kitchen!

This week I made this Moroccan style lamb but subbed ground chicken and veggie broth, added red pepper and mushrooms and let it simmer for 30 minutes. It’s one of Sante’s favorites.

If you’re looking for veggie friendly, definitely check out Sophie Uliano’s Vegan Pesto Polenta Bowl. I came across it when trying to figure out what to do with a ton of basil in my fridge.

pesto polenta bowl

This, my friends, is what you do with it.

Cashew cream, pesto and polenta. Seriously amazing. And I used the extra cashew cream sauce for a pizza I made, which I’ll post another time.

What about you? What are you cooking these days? I’d love to hear inspiration. Share links, recipes or descriptions!

Did you like this recipe? Don’t forget to check out my recipe page for several delicious gluten-free, dairy-free treats, dinners and snacks! 

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